2. Is your "set-point" on Happiness?: Happiness Series
January 18th 2018
In the previous video, we talked about your brain’s “set-point” either being on problems or opportunities. Today we are discussing how to shift to an opportunity set-point. When your mind actively helps you seek out opportunities, your happiness levels are much higher than if your mind is only helping you seek out problems and everything that is wrong and could go wrong. It’s so much easier when your brain is on your side!
In this four-part series on happiness this is the second video and it’s all about our set-point which was discussed in the first video. Just to recap our set-point helps determine our happiness levels because we’re either set at problems or we’re set at opportunities and it’s kind of a default position. When you look at the world what do you see? Do you see things to complain about or do you see things to celebrate?
Your set-point really is a knock-on effect. From what you see and how you interpret what you see determines the spiral of thoughts that then follow, the words that you use, and the actions that you then take. And so, the set-point is really important in determining what… or in helping us maintain a high vibration and a healthy level of happiness in our lives which is available to all of us.
Deepak Chopra which is where I got this information from in an article, he talked about what helps us change our set-points. So if you do notice that your mind tends to go to problems with certain things how do we change that? And he talked about meditation being a really great tool in shifting our set-point.
With meditation, we are able to bring stillness to our minds. You can’t eliminate thought. That’s not the point of meditation. So if you’re trying to meditate and you’re thinking I’m still thinking, I need to stop thinking, just stop doing that. You can’t. You cannot switch off your mind. It will always be there. But you can calm it down and meditation helps with that.
You’ll notice when you’re in stressful situations your mind is racing, and so in the opposite way in a calm, peaceful situation say on a cushion, with a candle, in a quiet room, in nature, the environment is peaceful and it allows our mind to then settle and be calm and be peaceful.
And the benefit of that is that we through meditation can create a space between stimulus, what’s happening on the outside in our environment, and response, how we react to what’s happening on the outside. So when that space is very narrow and there’s barely any kind of pause, before we act, before we speak, before we think, we will often revert to reactions, subconscious, unconscious reactions that are just programs and patterns that we just do the same thing we did last week. Something happens and we just react in the same way.
Meditation brings a gap between what you see and what you’re noticing on the outside and how you respond to what you see. And so, in that gap you can pivot between a set-point of being problem-focused and a set-point of being opportunity-focused. The more you meditate, the more you practise bringing in some space before you respond to what you’re seeing.
So, when you go into a shopping centre and you have this thought that you don’t have much money in the bank account, if you’ve got a set-point on problems you will only see things that support that belief, that I don’t have much money in the bank account and so there’s nothing I can do about it. So you’ll notice things that you can’t afford, you don’t have enough money to pay for it, you’ll notice all the ways in which your money gets drained, you’ll notice the parking ticket, you’ll notice things that are taking money away from you.
If you’ve got the opposite which is an opportunity set-point you’ll go into the store and your brain is looking for a different set of data. It’s looking for things to allow money to flow to you. So you might notice a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in a shop window that there’s a job available there that you could possibly apply for, or you might see a ‘For Lease’ sign in one of the shop windows where you’re thinking okay, I might just start that business that I’ve always wanted to, there’s an opportunity there.
Your mind is searching for things that will allow you to receive money. And so your initial thought is not I don’t have enough money. Your initial thought could be the universe is always supporting me. And so you will go out and you will see that support, you will find it because that’s where your set-point is positioned.
Meditation allows you to walk into the shopping centre, and even though you might think oh my gosh, I can’t afford anything in this place, meditation allows you to bring some space into those old patterns of thoughts so that you can witness it rather than just react from it. So you can kind of say yeah, you know like I really do think that, I think that there’s just only drains out there to my money, like just holes where my money is getting sucked into, and then meditation allows you just to breathe through that, accept it, go okay, that is a thought that I’ve had for a long time. Let me try a new thought on.
You can consciously if you’ve got an affirmation or you’ve got like a shift pivot where you want to get towards, you can then bring in the new thought of the universe always supports me. Let me find one way in which the universe is trying to show me how it’s supporting me right now. Let me look for it. I might find nine ways in which I don’t feel supported, but let me just try and find one way in which I can find the support. And you will find it. It will be there. It might be the smallest thing. It might be a voucher that you win, you know. Like sometimes there’s people that get you to do a survey and then they give you a voucher for a free coffee. That’s a free coffee! The universe is supporting me.
That’s how you can transition into an opportunity set-point through meditation. Meditation just gives you that space to pivot. When your mind is just racing and full, often we just react from the subconscious, old patterns, old ways of thinking, old ways of speaking, complaining, and feeling and then behaving, and so the result inevitably will just be the same as it’s always been.
To bring change and to bring shift into the set-point, meditation allows us to witness what’s coming up from the subconscious. We see it. I see you, and I don’t like it, and I’m going to change it. And then you can. You can absolutely change it if you can see it.
Meditation through calming the mind down and bringing some space in a controlled environment and practicing that allows you to then have that space be there in an uncontrolled environment when you’re out outside in the world, when you’re inside a shopping centre, anywhere, when you’re at school, at work, in these uncontrollable environments there’s that space within you that’s being fostered, that’s been practiced, it’s becoming habit to bring some space.
Just know that when you’re out in the world and you know, this habit is just slowly forming it will be tough in the beginning. It’ll be really tough because it’s very easy to be calm in a calm environment. It’s easy when everything is just a little bit controllable. But it’s challenging when you’re out with other people, when you’re in environments that are always shifting to then try and find the stillness. But the more you do it at home or in nature by yourself, you bring that peace wherever you go.
Regardless of how chaotic it is on the outside, the more you practise meditation and the more the space between stimulus and response happens, you can then shift to then seeing opportunities rather than problems. And it’s a habit that can be developed and soon it’ll be second nature.
That’s how we can shift our set-point through meditation and what meditation can bring into our lives. And so there are several different types of meditations out there. Find one that suits you. Everyone has slightly different preferences and there are many different types of meditation. You can have meditation, guided meditation where you’re listening to a CD and you can follow what the prompts are by the person speaking. You might just want to light a candle and focus on the flame and then close your eyes and then just imagine the flame and that warmth and that light moving throughout your body, and just the focus of the flame allows your mind to calm down.
Like most meditations, in the beginning you need to keep your mind occupied doing something, because you can’t turn off the thoughts, but you can train your thoughts to go in a certain way. And so these particular methods of meditation allow your mind to have a task. So it’s either taking a flame throughout your body or it’s visualising certain things, walking on a beach, being in a forest, or sometimes it’s chanting, like chanting an affirmation or chanting like a Sanskrit mantra. It just allows this mind that’s used to jumping and causing chaos to just sit still, just do this one thing.
By doing that and training your mind to become calmer, your whole body field then takes on a more peaceful, more quiet space so your inner space becomes more quiet. Most of us feel like our mind is the only thing in our inner space, but meditation the more you do it you will discover that there is more in your inner space than just the voice of your mind. That is where the voice of your… your inner voice lies as well within us. And so when your mind calms down you actually have access to the other parts of yourself and meditation is a great tool for that.
In summary, with this video it’s all about meditation allowing your set-point to change. It’s a habit that needs to be developed. It’s not like an easy magic bullet. A lot of us grew up in environments where we sponged a lot of our habits and our behavioural patterns from the adults and the authorities around us, and perhaps they had a set-point that was set to problems and we’ve developed some of those habit patterns of thinking, but they can be changed, and they can be shifted, and meditation is a really wonderful tool to do that.